Industry snapshot: poor technical performance
The global digital publishing market is projected to grow from $44.8 billion in 2019 to near $66.7 billion in 2020. Between online newspapers, articles, journals, and more, a growing digital publishing landscape requires exceptional digital experiences to meet rising consumer expectations. It’s no longer enough to deliver fact-based news or intelligent op-eds, you need to create seamless experiences across your entire site to keep users engaged.
Media & publishing’s biggest user frustrations
With information flooding out from digital news outlets everywhere, minimizing user frustration on your site can be a key differentiator. In fact, 76% of users will consider another competitor if they have just one bad experience, meaning you simply can’t spare any issues derailing digital experiences for your readers.
With 6.3% of page views containing instances of user frustration, media & publishing performs slightly better than the 6.5% average of other industries. It has a relatively low occurrence of bird’s nest behavior, which refers to when a user rapidly shakes their mouse in confusion, unresponsive multiclicks, which typically occur on broken links or buttons, and repeated device rotation, the result of content not fitting the screen. However, it has a high incidence of rapid scrolling per user session, which in certain contexts signals user frustration.
3 ways to reduce frustration in media & publishing
Establish clear navigation
With a wide range of subjects of interest, publishing and media sites need to organize content in a way that makes sense to users. Set up menus and sub-menus with intuitive signposts and ensure high-interest topics are navigation starting points.
Prioritize mobile experiences
With the convenience and accessibility of smartphones, the average user is highly likely to visit your site from a mobile device. Focus on delivering a mobile experience that’s simplistic and streamlined for minimal frustration and abandonment.
Maximize site performance
Users often want to access content as quickly as possible, which makes site speed a high priority. If you deliver quick-loading webpages with no broken links, images, or videos, frustration will stay low and users will stay on site.
Media & publishing sites and apps are typically video and image heavy. While this can lead to user engagement, it can also lead to poor technical performance which is a big turn off for readers, as it leads to frustrating on-page refreshes when resources don’t load properly.
Media & publishing’s biggest user engagements
Engagements are the lifeline of successful online media platforms. Research shows that 75% of users expect a consistent experience wherever they engage, meaning user interest and site traffic hinges on digital experiences.
With sessions having an average Engagement Score of 4.66/10, media & publishing performs slightly better than the 4.6 average of other industries. It has fewer incidences of overt reading behavior, which refers to users following content with their mouse, and slightly more instances of select and copy behavior. It performs poorly on responsive multiclicks, which refers to users clicking through a responsive element like an image carousel.
3 ways to drive more engagement in media & publishing
Personalize web content
Delivering content and experiences personalized to each user drives up interest and keeps readers engaged. It’s crucial to learn users’ site interests, create content surveys, and offer content suggestions to keep users fully engaged.
Simplify layouts and designs
An overly crowded publishing site can confuse users into disengaging or even abandoning. Structure webpages with easy usability, clean designs, and well-spaced layouts, and engagements will stay high.
Highlight call-to-action elements
Generating clear and visible call-to-actions is a simple but crucial way to drive engagements on media and publishing sites. Prioritize these elements by ensuring they’re highly visible and don’t get lost in the weeds of content or designs.
Media & publishing’s user journey trends
With so many types of content curated on your website, it’s critical to nail the most popular channels. Given that 90% of professionals believe a journey-based approach boosts satisfaction and retention, you can’t afford to ignore how user journeys play out.
With an average Navigation Score of 8.8/10, media & publishing performs poorly against the 9.4 average of other industries. Per page view, the on-page refresh rate is high at 47.3%, suggesting performance issues. However, in terms of the journey, the revisit rate of pages is just 12.7% against the 32.4% average of other industries – suggesting media & publishing customers are generally finding what they want on each page, without having to look twice or cover old ground.
EXPERIENCE & CONVERSION
Media & publishing’s correlation between digital experience and conversion
The experiences on your website directly impact avid followers and subscribers. Considering visit-to-lead conversions can be 400% higher on sites with a superior user experience, the quality of the experience offered by your website or app can make or break audience growth.
Generally, the goal conversion rate for media & publishing is significantly lower than in other industries, but its correlation to DXS® is higher, which could mean tolerance for mediocre experiences is lower in media & publishing than elsewhere – rendering the quality of the overall experience vitally important.
3 media & publishing digital experience trends and tips to look out for in 2021
Big opportunity to improve performance
With resource-heavy online destinations being an issue across the media & publishing industry, those that can best reduce the load on user devices will have an advantage in 2021.
Competition may increase
As demand shifts online, digital services offered by media & publishing companies will be more widespread, so expect a rise in competition for eyeballs and loyalty.
Optimization will be crucial
With expectations for digital experiences always rising, investing in digital experience optimization has never been more crucial for media & publishing companies looking to maximize readership subscriptions.